STATEMENT FROM EOC ACTING PRESIDENT ON BEHALF OF BELARUS ATHLETES
13 October 2020
Acting President of the European Olympic Committees (EOC) Niels Nygaard today called on the National Olympic Committee of the Republic of Belarus to live up to its obligations outlined in the Olympic Charter to ensure its athletes are not discriminated against for their political or any other views.
The EOC, which is the umbrella organisation for the 50 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) of Europe, has received a number of complaints from Belarusian athletes relating to politically motivated pressure from the NOC and its member federations.
In support of the Belarus athletes, Nygaard said that he welcomed the decision taken last week by the Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to “strengthen [its] investigation to determine whether the NOC is fulfilling its obligations towards its athletes as per the Olympic Charter.”
Nygaard’s full statement follows:
“I have followed the situation in Belarus closely and I am happy that the IOC is now investigating the situation of the athletes in Belarus.
As the NOC of Belarus is a member of the EOC, we have a responsibility to protect the athletes and establish whether the NOC of Belarus is living up to the standards of the Olympic Movement. I therefore fully support calls for the NOC of Belarus to ensure that its athletes are treated fairly, and I appeal to the Government of Belarus to respect their rights and well-being.